Since the unanimous passage of Atlanta City Ordinance 17-O-1152, which reduced the penalty for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana within the city limits of Atlanta to $75.00 and no jail time, what effect is the ordinance having on “simple possession” arrests in Atlanta?
On 5/22/2018 the question above appeared as the first local question on the Democratic ballot for Forsyth County, Georgia. “Should Georgia amend the state Constitution to legalize the use of cannabis/marijuana for those 21 years old and older, allow a retail dispensary base, tax said products, and allocate revenue received equally to state education and transportation infrastructure?”
In June of 2016 members of Peachtree NORML began a practice of visiting official law enforcement Facebook pages when marijuana bust “brag” posts were put up. We began expressing our opinions on those posts. Those opinions were often deleted from these official pages and the citizens making them were blocked from commenting. These actions are an abridgment of a citizen’s First Amendment Right to criticize a governmental official or entity. Sheriff Joey Terrell of Habersham County, Georgia was one of the officials who deleted dissenting comments. We decided to contact the ACLU, and they decided to take up our case for us.
Georgia lost a key player in the reform of marijuana laws last Friday. James Bell was a part of the NORML movement in Georgia back in the 70s, and went on to form Georgia Campaign for Access, Reform, and Education (Georgia C.A.R.E.). James was dedicated, driven advocates/activist and will be sorely missed.